CHENNAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday singled out former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram while addressing a massive rally in Tiruppur near Coimbatore on Sunday, saying this “recounting minister” was “arrogant” and never cared for the middle class.
Launching a scathing attack on Mr Chidambaram, Mr Modi said, “I want to take you back to the UPA time. There was a very wise minister from Tamil Nadu, the Recounting Minister. The man who thinks all the knowledge in the world resides only in his brain. In his typical arrogance he said — why is the middle class so worried about price rise, they buy such expensive ice-cream and mineral water! Mr Recounting Minister, the middle class does not need the taunts by you and the Congress. They have rejected you and will continue to do so.”
The reference was to Mr Chidambaram saying in Bengaluru in 2012: "People are prepared to pay Rs 15 for a bottle of water, but we will not pay a one-rupee increase in the price of a kilo of rice or a kilo of wheat. We are prepared to pay `20 for an ice-cream cone but we will not pay one rupee more for a kilo of rice or wheat."
While ridiculing the Congress for blaming him for everything, Mr Modi invoked the name of Congress stalwart K. Kamaraj and said the NDA government was being run on Kamaraj's principle of zero tolerance to corruption.
Explaining the measures taken to curb corruption, Mr Modi said, "The NDA Government in Delhi is putting a lock on the corrupt misdeeds of several people. This is exactly how the great K. Kamaraj wanted a government to be run - where there is zero tolerance towards corruption... Earlier, we had heard of a family pack in mobile recharges and ice-creams. Now, it seems there is a family pack for bail too!" He termed the Opposition as "funny", as they utilised every opportunity to chant his name. "They say Modi government is a failure, Modi has done nothing, Modi is going to be badly defeated but still they have to form big alliances to defeat Modi. What is the agenda of the so-called alliance? What are the issues they are fighting? Nobody knows. Because their guns are only aimed at Modi."
Mr Modi said those who thought power was their divine right, and that they were born to rule, were disturbed because his government was "working." Hence, their unhappiness had turned into desperation and abuse, he said. "Whatever question they are asked, their answer has to have the word Modi. They are asked 'what is your view towards agriculture welfare', their answer is Modi! They are asked 'what is your plan for MSME sector', they say Modi," he said....